Affirms Rights of Members to Hunt, Fish, Trap and Gather Under Tribal Licenses
CTCLUSI Tribal Government, Coos Bay, Ore.-
On Friday, June 16, the Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission at its meeting in Newport unanimously approved a co-management agreement with the Tribes that provides for Tribal management of hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering under tribal regulations. Chairman Brad Kneaper and Ramil Beers provided testimony in support of the agreement explaining the significance of hunting, fishing, trapping, and gathering to the Tribes and the importance of the agreement.
The Agreement calls for annual meetings between Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife staff and representatives from the Tribes to discuss opportunities for cooperation on fish and wildlife projects, as well as discussing specific harvest issues. The Agreement covers the Tribes’ five county service area. The Agreement recognizes that regulations for subsistence and ceremonial harvest of fish and wildlife resources, including the issuance of tags, seasons, and equipment will be specifically set by the
“I grew up in a hunting and fishing family and have memories of going out with my grandfather, said Chairman Kneaper during the meeting. “Being able to do that under the umbrella of Tribal responsibility is extremely important to me and I know it’s the same for other members, too.”
Oregon Fish and Wildlife Commission Meeting June 16, 2023 Photos by Bob Swingle, ODFW
October 22, 2022 Special Election Results
Yes vote 338
No Vote 1
Special Election timeline
July, August and September 2022 The Voice of CLUSI, Tribal Newsletters offered full detailed articles each month, giving membership information about recent agreements that have been made with other Tribes in Oregon and Oregon Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) specifically.
On September 8, 2022: A detailed information packet was mailed out to every member 18 years of age and older.
On September 11, 2022: Tribal Council passed a Resolution to call the Election Board to facilitate a Special Election.
On September 12, 2022: The Election Board met and set the date of October 22, 2022 for the Special Election to be held.
On September 14, 2022: A postcard mailing was sent to every household providing official notice of the upcoming Special Election on October 22, 2022 and Public Comment Zoom Meeting Question and Answer Forum to be held September 22, 2022.
On September 20, 2022: An auto dialer phone message went to all members 18 years of age and older with working phone numbers, reminding them of the Public Comment Zoom Meeting Question and Answer Forum to be held September 22, 2022.
On September 22, 2022: A Public Comment Zoom Meeting Question and Answer Forum was held for all the General Council to participate.
On September 28, 2022: At a Tribal Council Business Meeting, the Council approved the final draft of the ‘Question’ after receiving input from the General Council. If you have any questions about this Special Election, please contact Enrollment, email@example.com or call 541-888-9577 and ask for the Election Clerk.
On October 22, 2022: Special Election Day. Polls open for in person voting at Tribal Hall in Coos Bay, Oregon from 12 (noon) to 4:00 p.m.
VOTER EDUCATION GUIDE
What will a YES or NO vote mean?
Voting “YES” for this issue will authorize the Tribal Council to negotiate and adopt an agreement with the State of Oregon for hunting, trapping and fishing, that would be regulated by the Tribe and not the State. Under the agreement, the Tribe, the State, and other Oregon Tribes would jointly develop annual harvest limits designed to conserve and protect species. The method of hunt and other regulations would be set solely by the Tribe and the Tribe would issue any required permits and tags to its members. The vote would also allow the Tribal Council to work with federal and state land management agencies, local governments, and private landowners to develop agreements increasing Tribal member opportunities to gather under Tribal permits and regulations and free from any other permitting requirements. Agreements allowed by this vote would set a precedent for the recognition of these rights and make it clear that regulation is subject to Tribal and not state or federal permitting requirements.
Voting “NO” maintains the status quo and would not allow the Tribe to enter into agreements that provide for expansion, enhancement, and protection of hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering opportunities. Without these agreements, Tribal members could be subject to efforts of state, federal, or local entities to continue to enforce their regulations, fees, and permitting requirements.
Why have this vote now?
The Oregon Governor and the current Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife (ODFW) Director are supportive of entering into an agreement with the Tribe. The State has already entered into a similar agreement with the Coquille Tribe, our closest neighboring Tribe. Our Governor leaves office at the end of the year and we simply do not know who the governor will be and how they view this issue. Time is of the essence to get these agreements in place.
Why is there a vote on this? How did the vote go for other Tribes?
The CTCLUSI Constitution requires a vote of the membership in order to negotiate, settle, or diminish hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering rights. This prohibits the Tribal Council from even beginning negotiations until the membership approves this. Other Tribes do not have this restriction in their Constitutions and their Tribal Councils are free to negotiate agreements that will enhance Tribal member rights without a vote.
Does this allow the Tribal Council to give away Tribal rights?
This measure is drafted narrowly to only allow the Tribal Council to enter into agreements that will enhance or expand the hunting, trapping, fishing, and gathering rights of Tribal members. This would prohibit the Tribe from giving away or impairing opportunities. The language of the measure also contains language that limits the Tribal Council from giving away any rights – “… provided that Tribal Council shall not be authorized to enter into any agreement that diminishes and waives any hunting, trapping, fishing, or gathering rights of the Tribe.” An agreement that gives away rights would be unlawful and could be struck down by the Tribal Court.
The measure is also narrowly drafted to: (1) allow the Tribal Council to negotiate a hunting, trapping and fishing agreement similar to the Coquille Tribe and (2) allow the Tribal Council to reach agreements with state and federal land management agencies, local government, and private landowners to enhance gathering opportunities and provide Tribal members with legal protection if they are gathering on those lands.
Lastly, Tribal Council will provide an update in the Tribal Newsletter, on the Tribes website and at future Council Meetings as to the status of any negotiation activity.
Where can I get copy of the Coquille Tribe’s agreement with the State? Here is a copy of the complete Coquille Tribe’s agreement with Oregon Fish and Wildlife (ODFW)
Your participation is vital, no matter where you live in the US. If we don’t have enough participation this will not be a valid election. Please VOTE.
PLEASE REGISTER AND VOTE!
Contact Jeannie McNeil firstname.lastname@example.org or call 541-888-9577 for the Election Clerk to be sure you are registered.
Special Election Day: Saturday, October 22, 2022
Polls will be located at the Tribal Hall, Coos Bay, Oregon from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. You may vote in person at the polling place, and register to vote in person if you have not done so.
Ballots will be mailed to every registered voter on September 29, 2022. You must be registered to receive a ballot by mail.
TRIBAL CONSTITUTION / ELECTION INFORMATION
Below are areas of the Constitution that state why this Special Election is necessary. Our Tribal laws require a vote of the membership to grant authority to the Tribe to negotiate and/or enter in to any agreements related to Hunting, Trapping, Fishing and Gathering with any other entity as outlined below.
Article II Hunting, Fishing, and Gathering Rights
Nothing in this constitution shall be construed as restricting the exercise of hunting, fishing or gathering rights of members, to the fullest extent permitted by law. No tribal decision affection such hunting, fishing or gathering rights shall be made except by a full vote of Tribal membership.
Article V –Section 1. General Council
(g) Exercise those powers of fundamental changes in the Tribes jurisdiction, reservation lands, or rights specified in Article VI, Section 3(a) ….below.
Article VI, Section 3. General Council Authority
(a) Before taking any action with regards to the following matters, the tribal council shall obtain the approval of three- fourths (3/4) of the membership in a vote in which at least thirty -five (35) percent of the membership of the general council participates, such vote may be taken by mail.
The language of the Tribal Constitution below identifies what is required for participation and the numbers needed to pass in the upcoming vote of the Special Election.
|Current CTCLUSI Membership 18+ Eligible to Vote||Members Registered to VOTE as of TODAY||Minimum Members Needed to Participate to validate this Special Election||Minimum approval needed for to Pass|
ONLY those members REGISTERED will receive a ballot. Election Registrations are valid for 10 years. Some of our Tribal Members registrations have expired and others have never registered to vote.
We will NEED to receive the required minimum number of ballots listed on the previous page for the Special Election to be considered valid and counted.
Historically, in Tribal Council Elections participation has not reached these number, however Council Elections do not require this specific participation criteria.
YES or NO – Approve or Fail
In order for the ballot initiative to pass in this type of Special Election it is also required special tabulation. It means three fourths (3/4) of the membership must be in favor and vote yes for this to pass.
All CTCLUSI Members 18+ are needed to participate in the upcoming Special Election
For more information please contact Jeannie McNeil 541-888-9577, email@example.com